Back to the beach (in style)

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
The Beach Hotel

Flag of India  , Kerala,
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The hotel we stayed in last night was so good we wanted to prolong the experience, so we ordered breakfast to the room. Dosa with coconut and curry sauce is a good way to start the day!  I went down to unlock the bikes only to find ANOTHER puncture. It delayed our start but was quite fun chatting to all the security guards as I repaired it.  The morning heat was already out, there was also a lively wind which we hoped would be behind us for the day.  Off we went, neither of us feeling too much up for the 60 odd miles ahead of us.  The cycling was pretty steady, very hot but roads fairly decent and hills just to a roll.  We passed some funny sights along the way; the biggest elephant (unfortunately in chains) dragging something up a hill, an Indian driving test centre (oh how I would like to talk to those examiners about how they actually pass any of these people to be on the road).  The morning was defined by punctures.  After the overnight flatty, I had a blow out going down a hill and then another as some bloke over did it on the air machine. Punctures # 8 and 9 for those counting.Both were fixed with maximum efficiency and watched by huge crowds.  The bikes have really felt the strain recently and although it is really annoying at the time, looking back always means there is a good meeting with someone. Also now we are out of the mountains there is always a village close with repair shop/air and thousands of eager helpers. Feel really bad that they only charge 10 rupees to fix a puncture and one guy even insisted on giving me change. In one tiny village I walked 20 metres to a shop to get a cold drink while Mikey fixed the puncture and turned round to see at least 25 people had appeared from nowhere and surrounded him. I was a bit worried until I saw them help him take the wheel off and all accompany him to the repair shop. Another 5 came over to me to help me buy 4 bananas and 2 drinks! It is these chance meetings which makes cycling so different.  In the bus stop we took shade in, there was a woman in full Muslim dress.  At first she was scared to talk, but Pols offered her a biscuit and as we left she felt confident enough to ask Polly's name.  Many of our encounters today were unfortunately quite annoying.  Shouted at by groups of lads, some through excitement to see white people but many overdoing it to rudeness.  Motorbikes went past uncomfortably slowly to check us out, trying to talk to us when we needed to be focussing on trucks bearing down in us.  It is a really draining experience being so watched by everyone but when you talk to the individuals it makes it all better.  The two young boy scouts were wonderful, so smart in full uniform with bikes really accessorised.  The last 10 miles into town were hard.  At the end of 5 hours cycling it is hard to maintain concentration but with so much going on around you it is so important to stay switched on.  People walked out in the road straight into Pols path, a couple of buses made me blow my top (someone nearly killing you or worse, your wife, makes you absolutely CRAZY mad) and other obstacles meant that when we hit Beach Road, we were more than pleased. Rolling up to Beach Hotel we kept everything crossed that they had a room.  They did, and what a room it is.  We enjoyed supper in the connecting sea view balcony room and watched the sun go down.  In need of Western comfort I ordered fish and chips.  We have decided on a day off tomorrow.  Clean clothes, bike maintenance, forward planning, rest, all very much needed. We haven’t done any washing since we got here as they all take 24 hrs and we’ve not had any days off. We are also covered in bites/heat rash/very sore muscle/bruises and need a break!!
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Charlotte on

Hotel looks lovely - hope you have a lovely day off!!
Much love Cxxx

Shep on

Who was it who collected the guesses for total number of punctures at the pub on your last night guys?

Elizabeth the puncture tally girl on

Hiya, was me - will get it out now so we know who is now out of the running! Glad you guys have some time off, well off cycling! Hope you have some time to chillax as well! xxxxxx

Elizabeth on

Hiya, well checked the list (and forwarded a scan to Mr&MrsN) and Shep you are in there at ..16! 100 is the most anyone put ...Phillippa! Lets hope you are nearer the mark Shep!

Jojo on

I'm in there with 15 - so just you two take it easy from now on! VERY cold here - more snow expected and I want to hibernate!

All love Jojo and Christopher

triciagick on

I think we should be on a mission to get Jojo's photo back. Having said that, not sure mine will come up as it hasn't asked me if I'm a member this time. We'll see! X

Jojo on

Don't know why I have disappeared - need the IT specialist to come down (with that baby) to sort me out.

Can't believe the snow here this morning - haven't seen anything like it since Zermatt 2002 and it's still snowing - but I think it's a good excuse to miss circiut training. CJB has just gone on line and looked at Georges position - he's been going round the Channel Islands at high speeds all night by the looks of things - having been doing the same thing up in Scarpa Flow last week but this is the last day so hopefully they with be ableto catch up on some well earned rest like you two.
All love Christopher and Jojo

mum and dad on

No work today as heavy snowfall.Daycentre closed so have taken days leave.Decided to make Christmas cake so Dad and I have sat here savouring the smell as the cake cooks and caught up on the blog.We have been so engrossed-almost forgot about the cold ,cold snow outside!Have been alarmed at state of the roads,the reckless driving not to mention the dodgy breaks on the steep downhill runs and the bloomin punctures!However what amazing pictures of Goodwill .Very moved by your visit there.Sure everyone will be so excited at church.Also such kind people you have met .So now you are safely back at the coast.We hope you have a really well deserved rest.Look forward to chatting on Saturday.Big hugs to you both-you have done so wellxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Ian J on

Children at St Albans loved the postcards from Turkey! Hope you enjoyed the rest day. Take care.

Sandra on

Hi you two Makes me feel tred just readng about your adventures Hope you enjoyed your day off Much love Sandra x x x x

Charlotte on

Boooo we are at work and would like to be out playing in the snow....fingers crossed it will stay for the weekend though and we can have some fun!!
Having the first mulled wine of the year tonight - don't think it will have quite the same number of additonal ingredients as the stuff Polly made last year - chilli, lucozade gel etc!!!

Samuel james on

Hi Mrs Neville,
I Hope you are are well. I hear you,ve gone to india. Which means nearly christmas.

Shep on

Mikey and Pols - please go easy on the punctures from now on. You only have 7 left in the bag.

Mikey - Mayfield Athletic away tomorrow cancelled because of the snow. Enjoy the sunshine.


Shep on

Oh - and thanks Elizabeth x

Alan Gick on

Just great reading your comments, it all seems to becoming a proper travel book. So cold here, 1200 in bright sunshine and the frost is still firm on the lawn, certainly the coldest I ever remember in December. Walking is quite good as the ground is frozen hard, Newton would really enjoy it or rather we would enjoy him coming home clean ! Following where you are on Google earth - doesn't show the roughness of the roads but gives the most amazing maps of the roads you are tarvelling. Much reading on India - really interesing and I'm thinking I might like to spend quite a long time there.

Keep going on the blog - looking forward to seeing you on the 14th

Lindy Campbell on

Just been catching up with the blog - been in Brussels to meet new grand daughter and got back 5 days late due to snow and airports being closed etc - horrendous - now clear skies and a road like a skating rink with no grit on it - why can't UK cope with snow!!
It is really interesting reading about your travels - very addictive - just keep it all coming. Assume you are now getting some sunshine - take care
All love Lindy

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